You may not like it, but this was my 2016
2016 was a year filled with joy, some pain, a hint of sorrow, and a ton of scheming. I believe the best place to start is with the bad, and end with the good. So that's right where we will begin.
When I look back over the entirety of the year there are many things that affected me negatively, but also gave me the ability to grow from such as losing my grandmother and one of my great artistic inspirations in the same month. Those were both major hits, and I completely fell apart for a few months. On top of that, I was struggling with homelessness. Literally worrying where my next meal would be coming from and I found myself questioning if I really had what it took to continue creating. I mean, if I was falling apart like that, how could I expect to be able to handle the big things that I knew were on the horizon. Just like all of you, I had to make many really hard decisions. I had to come to terms with the fact that I had grown out of some relationships, or that some of the relationships I believed to be legitimate were just opportunities for me to be used yet again. As a result of those struggles I’ve come to many resolutions, which I will explain. But like I said, the year wasn’t all bad.
Some of the biggest blessings that came my way as result of going through such a year of struggle, were things that I couldn’t measure monetarily, or even physically. The first and most special blessing to me, was finally coming into my own and accepting myself for who I am. I was forced to dedicate a good portion of the year to focusing on my mental health. I honestly wouldn’t trade that time for anything. Without that time I couldn’t say for sure whether I would be here now, in a new year, with new resolutions and a renewed focus. It almost takes drowning sometimes to really appreciate breathing again. If you are struggling, I would urge you not to wait until tomorrow, but instead begin focusing on what's most important now - your happiness.
The second blessing, but certainly not of any lesser importance, was truly seeing who was there for me and who was just paying me lip service. I mean the struggle in this was that I never really saw my value because I was too busy catering to those that didn’t value me. They just wanted what they could get from me, and then they would throw me out and move on. The third, which is also not of any less importance, was definitely some of the photos and opportunities that came my way as a result of relationships I have either been building, or just as a result of the work I’ve been putting into PRo.
Over the last year, I have been asked some very important questions, multiple times. One of the reasons why I haven't been able to answer a lot of them was because I wasn’t completely sure what direction I wanted to go in and how I was going to get there. I spent the entire fall season shaping our new direction and setting necessary goals. You see, this year makes five years since I set out on this journey. When I set out on this path, I had no idea where it would lead and what I would have the chance to create. The problem has always been that I have been so focused on creating that I left the business end of things behind. In my pursuit of creation, I’ve found that many times people are more willing to take advantage of creatives than they are willing to support them. I guess there's a part of them that believes that having the creative work done for them is their way of showing support. What many people don’t realize is that every time a creative sets out to make anything, they (the creatives) are putting a part of themselves out into the world. Being a creative is a vulnerable thing, and for those of us who set out to pour 100% of ourselves into each of our projects, its imperative that we be compensated for such work. This is where the changes come in here in 2017.
There's one very popular question that I've made so very complicated in the past because of a lack of confidence, and that question is, how much does a shoot cost? Our focus this year will be taking PRo to the next level, and continuing to provide our clients with high quality work.
What can you expect as a client…
- 45mins - 1hr session
- 10 edits & returned within 48 hours.
Basic Portrait Session*
What can you expect as a client…
- 1hr -1.5hr session
- Minimum of 15 edits, and no more than 25 edits to be returned within 72hrs.
What can you expect as a client…
- 1.5hr - 3hr session
- Minimum of 15 edits, and no more than 35 edits to be returned within 72hrs
- This package includes options such as animated GIFS & 1 complimentary 8X10 print.
Submit completed questionnaire for pricing.
Hours will vary based on clients needs.
Clients should expect a folder with all captured images. Final edits to be delivered within 7 days.
Starting at $2200
What can clients expect….
- 5hr - 8hr day.
- Packages starting at 150 edits.
- We are willing to tailor a package for each client
Starting at $3500
What can Clients expect….
- 12hr + Days (Full coverage)
- Packages starting at 200 edits
- We are willing to tailor packages for each client to include High quality photo albums, destination romantic sessions, trash the dress, bridal boudoir.
*Requirements for Session to be booked
A 50% deposit is required two weeks in advance for head-shot, portrait, concept based shoots, musicians, fashion and others. We require that you also complete the “Clients Questionnaire” as well as the initial consultation. The price of each session for the first four packages reflects travel as well as the rental fee for equipment. Once the session has ended the client will have 24hrs to make their final selections for their favorite images (based on the number of edits offered within their selected package). For any kind of shoot that is not currently listed, you can contact us and we will provide you with the pricing and other pertinent information to help bring your vision to life.
One last thing that I wanted to explain was my reasoning for moving away from color completely for a time on social media. One afternoon I decided to watch Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” music video, which if you’ve ever spoken to me about music videos you would know that as a visual artist I think this is the single most inspiring music video ever released. From the story telling, to decision made in framing and developing every shot/scene, it's just amazing. Ultimately the detail that caught my attention was the strength of the black/white imagery and how much that one decision ultimately accentuated the fullness of the beauty of black men & women. On that day I decided that I would focus on finding my own signature look for black and white. I knew that not only did I need to present that beauty, but I also needed to add to a new narrative. That narrative is just this, just like all other communities we have our bad apples, but the bad ones are the outliers. The black community is filled with smiles, great stories, rich history, beautiful people, but most importantly we are not the villain of the narrative no matter what the mainstream media says. In the end, my goal has always been to help with the creation of the narrative of positivity & love. Black women are beautiful, black men have something to give the world that no other group of men could ever share. I honestly reached a point where I got tired of the constant barrage of negativity and the discomfort. My goal in this new year is to show people the other side, to present exactly what has been lacking and what must be better. Lastly, Thank you, Colin Tilley. I've not given up on this quest, but I desire to show how I have grown in regards to work in the realm of color editing.
It’s taken a lot for me to finally reach this point, and I can’t say that I did this on my own. There are a great deal of people I need to thank, but also so many others that I'm just blessed to have around me, like my mom. I know she doesn’t always get why I’ve worked so hard to see this thing become successful, but that hasn’t stopped her from being supportive. Or Amanda Richards, I never thought when we became friends that she would become so instrumental in the success of this vision that God placed in my hands to shape and mold. I also need to thank my friend and mentor Ronald Pollard, I spent a great deal of my time this past fall learning from him. It was in my time with him that I saw how much needed to change and how to go about changing it. I’ve learned so much in this last year about myself, others, and business; and my goal in this new year is to put all of it into practice. One last thing, I want to thank each and everyone of you who have been around following my work since day one. Five years went by so fast and while I wasn’t completely sure how this was going to turn out when I began shooting, I knew I wanted to make a difference, and now looking out on all the things in front of me I know that I am now prepared to go forth in that purpose. In the coming weeks, I want you all to look out for a couple things: first, an updated portfolio, second, weekly blog posts, and third, our new monthly newsletter, and giveaways as well as other big announcements. Thanks again everyone! I look forward to your feedback.